Financial Aid Information for Teachers

The cost of a teacher education program need not be a roadblock to becoming a teacher.  A loan forgiveness program is available to elementary and secondary teacher candidates: the federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF). Two programs are available to special education candidates: TLF, as well as the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Programs. 

In many cases, taking advantage of these programs will cover the entire cost of tuition.  You must have an awarded student loan in order to qualify for these programs:

Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) Program

Eligibility requirements:

  • No outstanding balance on a Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) or Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP) loan as of October 1, 1998, or on the date you obtained a FFELP or FDLP loan after October 1, 1998

  • Employed as a full-time teacher for five consecutive, complete academic years at an eligible school (considered “low-income” according to Title I funding), with at least one of five years performed after ‘97-‘98 academic year

  • Loan must have been made before end of fifth year of qualifying teaching service

  • Satisfactory repayment arrangements must be made for a loan in default

  • May not receive TLF and AmeriCorps benefit for same teaching service

  • Award limits for forgiveness under both FFELP and FDLP

Participants considered “highly qualified” under NCLB, teaching at an eligible elementary or secondary school, as a math, science or special education teacher qualify for up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness.

One major benefit in this program helps maximize the forgiveness amount for which you may qualify.  You can request that your lender grant you forbearance (a temporary postponement of loan payments) in annual increments during each of the years in which you perform your qualifying teaching service. The lender must grant this request if the lender believes that you will qualify for forgiveness of your entire anticipated outstanding loan balance at the end of your qualifying teaching service.

More information on the TLF program.

TEACH Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides funds to students who are completing or who plan to complete coursework that is required to begin a career in teaching, and who agree to teach full-time for at least four years meeting the following requirements:

At Cal Lutheran, candidates in the Special Education Program (Mild/Moderate, Moderate/Severe, and Deaf and Hard of Hearing) are eligible to receive the TEACH Grant beginning with the Fall 2010 semester. At this time, candiidates in other programs are not eligible. Candidates must also meet certain academic achievement requirements to be initially awarded the grant and then to receive the grant in subsequent terms.

If you receive a TEACH Grant but do not complete the required four years of teaching service, fulfilling the requirements above within eight years after completion of the program for which you received the grant, or otherwise cease to be enrolled in the program, all grant funds received will be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that must be repaid with interest. In addition, your TEACH Grant can convert into an unsubsidized loan for other reasons.

To apply for the TEACH Grant click here.
TEACH Grant Program Fact Sheet

Other options
Cancellation of Perkins Loan

You qualify for cancellation (discharge) of up to 100 percent of a Federal Perkins Loan if you have served full time in a public or nonprofit elementary or secondary school system as a

  • teacher in a school serving students from low-income families; or
  • special-education teacher, including teachers of infants, toddlers, children, or youth with disabilities; or
  • teacher in the fields of mathematics, science, foreign languages, or bilingual education, or in any other field of expertise determined by a state education agency to have a shortage of qualified teachers in that state.

More information on the web

Direct Loan Web site (includes Servicing Center):

Cal Grant Recipients

Students awarded Cal Grants A or B as undergraduates who will be enrolled in a teacher education program may be eligible for the Cal Grant Extension benefit. The form is available on the California Student Aid Commission website. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must also be completed.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Find out if your school is considered a Title I school.